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Upon Her Shoulders: Southeastern Native Women Share Their Stories of Justice, Spirit, and Community

Regular price $ 16.95

edited by Mary Ann Jacobs, Cherry Maynor Beasley, and Ulrike Wiethaus


06/07/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781949467802


A documentary-style collection of stories, poems, essays, and interviews by Southeastern Native American women.

Upon Her Shoulders is a collection of stories, poems, and prose by Southeastern Native American women whose narratives attest to the hard work and activism required to keep their communities well and safe. This collection highlights Native female voices in the Southeast, a region and its peoples rarely covered in other publications.

The editors have deep roots in the scholarship and culture of Native women. Featured prominently is the Lumbee community, where two of the editors (members of the Lumbee tribe themselves) teach at the nearby University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a center for scholarship about the Lumbee people.

This volume honors the Native American tradition of passing on knowledge through stories and oral histories. With contributions by both professional and everyday writers, the collection spotlights these societies that have raised girls from an early age to be independent and competent leaders, to access traditional Native spirituality despite religious oppression, and to fight for justice for themselves and other Native people across the nation in the face of legal and societal oppression.


"Upon Her Shoulders is a book for everyone; the wisdom located within the pages, from American Indian women elders and from younger women, offers guideposts for living and learning that reinforce the power of story, of kin and community, and of place. The personal journeys detailed here are truly comprehensive as they use their gifts to challenge stereotypes, renew themselves through ceremony and medicine, and create just communities for all. Upon Her Shoulders is as much a manual for living as a priceless record of our journeys as American Indian women." -- Malinda Maynor Lowery, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle

About the contributors:

 is an Associate Professor and chairs American Indian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She holds a PhD in Social Welfare with an emphasis in Child Welfare policy from the University of Chicago. She is the co-editor of American Indian Women of Proud Nations: Essays on History, Language, and Education and numerous articles and textbook sections.

Cherry Maynor Beasley is a recognized expert in public health, culture of health, and education. She has devoted most of her 45-year career to rural, underserved populations. She is an active member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. She is the current chair of the Department of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, located in a rural, minority-majority community experiencing entrenched poverty. She serves as the inaugural Anna Belk Endowed Professor for Rural and Minority Health, is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a Major in the Army Nurse Corp. Dr. Beasley, whose primary expertise is in the area of health, has joined Drs. Jacob and Wiethaus as a co-editor of American Indian Women of Proud Nations: Essays on History, Language, and Education.

Ulrike Wiethaus is professor emerita in the Department for the Study of Religions and in American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University. She was elected as the 2013 Community Solutions Fellow with the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University, received the Donald O. Schoonmaker Faculty Award for Community Service, and served as a Shively Faculty Fellow. Widely published, her most recent publication in American Indian Studies is American Indian Women of Proud Nations: Essays on History, Language, and Education co-edited with Cherry Maynor Beasley and Mary Ann Jacobs.